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How will you address Austin’s housing shortage? What regulations will you change to allow more housing where people want to live?

Danielle Skidmore

City Council, District 9

As mentioned above, there is land owned by the city that remains underutilized, but could take on new life as Affordable housing to welcome diverse families—including many examples in District 9, such as the largely unoccupied parking lot next to the Clarksville Community Health Center on Toyath.

That is a specific project proposal, but in terms of overarching policy changes, we must also legalize ADUs in all Austin neighborhoods, which the incumbent has voted against in the past. Where practical, large lots (such as corner lots) can also support more housing units for more families. Perhaps this could involve smaller minimum lot sizes, or more limited setbacks to achieve a goal of a greater diversity of housing options. They key is to work with the community to find solutions together. We can absolutely build more housing units at a neighborhood scale that enhances the community.

As we look at our key Project Connect transportation corridors and Capital Metro Remap high frequency corridors, our land development code should allow for a stair-step transition of “missing middle” housing—parallel to these corridors. It should also allow for more flexible tools, like microunits, additional density bonuses (which mean building a bit taller in some locations). We can reduce sprawl without increasing impervious cover; if we build we build up, we can fit more people without paving the earth.